HEART OF LIES

M L Malcolm

Meet Leo Hoffman, a dashing young Hungarian with a gift for languages. Because of his talents, he is adopted by a wealthy Jewish family in Budapest, only to have his dazzling new life destroyed by World War I and its aftermath. When his attempt to rebuild his life inadvertently embroils him in an international counterfeiting scheme, Leo escapes with his lover to the decadent city of Shanghai, where he discovers that the gangsters who control the city from the shadows do not intend to let him outrun his past.

more …

Meet Leo Hoffman, a dashing young Hungarian with a gift for languages. Because of his talents, he is adopted by a wealthy Jewish family in Budapest, only to have his dazzling new life destroyed by World War I and its aftermath. When his attempt to rebuild his life inadvertently embroils him in an international counterfeiting scheme, Leo escapes with his lover to the decadent city of Shanghai, where he discovers that the gangsters who control the city from the shadows do not intend to let him outrun his past.

less …
  • Harper Paperbacks
  • Paperback
  • June 2010
  • 336 Pages
  • 9780061962189

Buy the Book

$13.99

indies Bookstore indies Bookstore

About M L Malcolm

Although born in New York, M.L. Malcolm spent most of her childhood in Florida, both in a small town on the Gulf Coast, and in the state capital of Tallahassee. Her education gradually brought her back north, as she earned a B.A. and an M.A. in political science from Emory University in Atlanta, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School in Boston. Between college and law school she spent a year in Aix-en-Provence, France as a Rotary Foundation Fellow. She developed a strong interest in World War I while touring the battlefields in Northern France, and used that time period as part of the setting for Heart of Lies.

Praise

“A deeply compelling and extraordinary debut novel. It has everything you want: suspense, adventure, and romance across several continents.”—Dorothea Benton Frank, New York Times bestselling author of Return to Sullivans Island

Heart of Lies takes the reader on a thrill ride that spans continents and decades, but at heart it’s an enduring love story.”Melanie Benjamin, author of Alice I Have Been

A sweeping saga reminiscent of Jeffrey Archer and Susan Howatch, Heart of Lies is brilliantly researched and beautifully written. I could not put this book down.”Karen White, New York Times bestselling author of The Girl on Legare Street

“A ‘page-turner’ in the very best tradition of historical fiction.”
Midwest Book Review

Discussion Questions

In many ways Leo is a deeply flawed character. Did this affect how you related to him? Can you think of any other literary figures who were similarly “morally challenged”?

Leo denies his Jewish heritage in an attempt to protect his family. What do you think of this decision?

Martha and Leo both survive very tragic events in their lives. How do you think this affects them? What do you think of their reactions?

Why do you think Leo made Maddy go with Amelia? To protect her, or himself?

Which character seemed the most real to you?

A different river is featured in every location. What, if anything, do you think each river symbolizes?

What, if any, parallels do you see between the political situation in China in the 1920’s and ’30’s, and some global trouble spots today? Is there anything to be learned from the experience of the European powers in Shanghai?

A much older woman seduces Leo when he is very young. What, if anything, do you think this adds to the story? To the development of Leo’s character?